salado e-letter october 2014 salado e-letter !! october 2014 ! welcome - this e-letter is different...

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  • ! Salado e-Letter !

    October 2014 !! Welcome - This e-Letter is different as it is not about our annual gathering in Salado, but it is about another gathering. This one takes place in Santa Fe during the last week of September. I want to share with you three beautiful Packards I had the opportunity to view at the 5th annual Concorso Santa Fe. This year’s Concorso featured Indy cars with racing legends Parnelli Jones, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser, Sr., Al Unser, Jr., Eddie Cheever, and Lynn St. James. The featured marque was Maserati to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Three Packards made their appearance at this year’s Concorso: A 1930 740 Roadster, a 1931 Deluxe Eight Dietrich Sport Phaeton, and a Graber bodied 1938 Eight Cabriolet. ! We drove to Santa Fe to visit with family and friends and to participate in the Concorso. This year was special in that there was a reunion with my three brothers. We had not been together since 2003. I also got to visit with other family members and long-time friends from high school and the Los Alamos days. ! I have been a volunteer Concorso worker for the Saturday activities for the past four years. This work involves doing traffic control for the Saturday morning Mountain Tour. We volunteers gathered on the Plaza at 6:30 A.M. Not a lot going on at that time of the morning, but it soon got busy with 70 participants arriving and parking around the historic town center. It was a large and diverse gathering of automobiles, trucks, and motor cycles. They represented a large percentage of the vehicles that were to be displayed at the Sunday show. The 100-mile tour participants ranged from a 1914 Ford Model T to a brace of new mega buck Mclarens. All the vehicles were able to restart and begin the tour, I did not hear of any not being able to complete the tour. After the tour many of us volunteers gathered at The Club at Las Campanas, a private golf course in a gated community northwest of Santa Fe, where the Concorso is held. Here we laid out the field for the vehicles to be shown. After this, we started parking the entrants as they returned from the tour. It was a long day, but a rewarding one seeing all the cars up close, hearing them run, watching them move, and being involved in event. ! 1930 740 Roadster - Margaret Dunning, the 104 year-old owner of the Roadster from Plymouth, Michigan and her Packard were a feature of the show. She has toured the country and been honored at many concours. She acquired the Packard in 1959 and has shown it at Pebble Beach, Keels & Wheels, and many other regional and national events. She still drives the car and drove it on and off of the field to receive the HVA-FIVA award. This award is presented at various shows around the country to celebrate and acknowledge these special vehicles.


  • ! 1931 Deluxe Eight Dietrich Sport Phaeton - John Groendyke of Enid, Oklahoma presented his rare and beautiful Packard. It is a two-time Pebble Beach winner. At the 1990 event it was awarded a First-in-Class and the coveted Gwen Graham Memorial Trophy for the most elegant open car. Out to pasture, so to speak, it has been driven over 11,000 miles on tours and to shows. I love the styling of the split windshield, a noted Dietrich feature, and the way the instrument panel is tucked deeply under the cowl that wraps around to the doors.

    ! 1938 Eight Graber Cabriolet - The most outstanding Packard, in my opinion, was the absolutely gorgeous Graber-bodied 1938 Eight. Based on a junior (120) model, this car, styled by the Swiss custom coach builder, has a European flair that is miles away from its East Grand Blvd. beginnings. It was discovered in the 1990s in a barn find condition. Finally, in 2010 the car was sold and put on display at Pebble Beach in the Preservation Class. The current owner, Chris Andrews of Fort Worth, Texas then acquired the Packard and had a full restoration done. It was then displayed again at the 2011 Pebble Beach in its better than new condition. It was awarded the Concorso’s Best of Show - Most Elegant award. The fourth photo is one taken when the car was displayed at Pebble Beach in its barn find condition.

    Until next time - Take care, stay healthy, and be safe… ! John Lawrence

    Austin, Texas [email protected]